There are at least two ways to believe in the idea of quality. You can believe there's something ineffable going on within the human mind, or you can believe we just don't understand what quality in a mind is yet, even though we might someday. Either of those opinions allows one to distinguish quantity and quality. In order to confuse quantity and quality, you have to reject both possibilities. The mere possibility of there being something ineffable about personhood is what drives many technologists to reject the notion of quality. They want to live in an airtight reality that resembles an idealized computer program, in which everything is understood and there are no fundamental mysteries. They recoil from even the hint of a potential zone of mystery or an unresolved seam in one's worldview. This desire for absolute order usually leads to tears in human affairs, so there is a historical reason to distrust it. Materialist extremists have long seemed determined to win a race with religious fanatics: Who can do the most damage to the most people?
Further, in the modern story, reality is that which is observable, measurable, and repeatable - the kinds of phenomena available, accessible, and verifiable to the five senses. Thus, reality comes to equal the scientific method. It should come as no surprise that in such a world the life of the spirit is ignored or marginalized (as well as a great many other nonmaterial things.) This view of life subsequently birthed in human beings a ravenous materialism as matters of the soul were ignored or reinterpreted within this tightly controlled version of reality. When the life of the spirit is ignored, people will seek to feed the hunger of a neglected soul with the only nourishment available: in our context, the consumptive acquisition of material goods.
In thinking about these questions I have been stimulated by criticisms of the prevailing scientific world picture.. By the defenders of intelligent design. Even though writers like and are motivated at least in part by their religious beliefs, the empirical arguments they offer against the likelihood that the origin of life and its evolutionary history can be fully explained by physics and chemistry are of great interest in themselves. Another skeptic,, has brought out these problems vividly without reference to the design inference. Even if one is not drawn to the alternative of an explanation by the actions of a designer, the problems that these iconoclasts pose for the orthodox scientific consensus should be taken seriously. They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met. It is manifestly unfair.
The shame and the downfall of a modern materialistic society is her inability to treasure, care for, admire, adore, cherish, value, revere, respect, uphold, uplift, protect, shield, defend, safeguard, treasure and love her children. I praise all the cultures of this world that naturally harbor and actively manifest these instincts. If a nation or if a population of people fails to recognize the excellent value and distinction of the lives of her children and is defective enough to have lost the capability of expressing and acting upon these instincts then there is nothing that can save that nation or those people. The prosperity of a people is not measured in banks, financial markets, economy and the death of its humanity is evident not through the loss of life but in the loss of love for its children.